Alliance ends on sour note

The decision of Congress and National Conference to go it alone in the Assembly polls has put the coalition partners at loggerheads, creating an uneasy situation for them to run the government till the elections due later this year.
On Sunday, the announcement of Congress to contest Assembly polls alone evoked sharp reaction from Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who is also the working president of NC, making the troubled ties between the two parties more evident.
“With the relations between the two parties turning sour, pressure is building on the coalition government. However, none of them can afford to withdraw the support. It could turn suicidal for both since there is already an impression among the masses that the coalition has failed,” said an NC insider.
“The situation has got more vulnerable as NC leadership has taken strong exception to the sudden announcement by Congress leaders making it appear as if it was their decision to part ways,” he added.
“The CM had conveyed the NC decision of going it alone for Assembly polls to the Congress high command much earlier keeping in view the interests of the party workers,” NC Provincial President and MLA Amira Kadal, Nasir Aslam Wani told Rising Kashmir.
“We realised that no matter what connection the senior leaders share, it doesn’t trickle down to the grassroot level. We tried to transfer local votes in Jammu but the result was bad,” added Wani.
He said by going alone for the polls, NC would also know its strength and connect with its dedicated voters again.
“We can later on tie again but right now both the parties have faced anti-incumbency so it’s time to fix it,” the NC leader said.
Soon after the Congress announcement, Omar tweeted that he had informed Congress President Sonia Gandhi 10 days ago that there will be no pre-poll alliance in the state.
“I met Mrs Gandhi 10 days ago & thanked her for all her support. I conveyed NC’s decision to fight the elections alone,” Omar wrote on Twitter.
“I explained the reasons but also told her I wouldn’t be making a public announcement because I didn’t want it to look opportunistic…for it to be spun now as a Cong decision is wrong & a complete distortion of the facts, not surprising but incorrect nonetheless,” he said.
Responding to Omar’s remarks, Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Saifuddin Soz said: “He (Omar) is entitled to say what he says but the world knows what NC wanted… However, we are not breaking the coalition. It will continue, till it can!”
Soz said Congress will give mandates on all but three seats of the third front – Ghulam Hasan Mir (Tangmarg), CPI (M) State Secretary M Y Tarigami (Kulgam) and Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen (Khansahib).
Calling the sudden announcement detrimental for NC-Congress ties, Additional General Secretary Sheikh Mustafa Kamal said:  “By announcing the decision independently in a press conference, Congress has been insensitive towards the long term relations with NC. We have tackled more ups and downs together in the past.”
He said both the parties should have come together to make the announcement.
“We are still running the government together. The parties could have assigned one spokesperson to make the announcement on behalf of both of them,” Kamal said.
He refuted that his party would bear the brunt for not having the alliance support.
“We have never been dependent on Congress. The impression given is wrong. We only adjusted with them to form the government. We only had Lok Sabha alliance with them and never had such partnership in assembly elections,” Kamal said.
Meanwhile, the state Congress leaders have welcomed the development.
Pradesh Congress Committee vice president and MLC Ghulam Nabi Monga said it was not just the demand of grassroot level party workers but many state leaders also wanted to contest Assembly elections without forming any alliance.
“By making this announcement, our high command has taken all the workers in confidence,” he added.

Previous post Kaimoh protests teenager’s killing
Next post Hurriyat (G) outraged over bloodshed in Gaza